Saturday, November 08, 2008

Top 10 Irritating Phrases

Oxford compiles list of top ten irritating phrases - Telegraph: "Heading the list was the expression 'at the end of the day', which was followed in second place by the phrase 'fairly unique'.

The tautological statement 'I personally' made third place – an expression that BBC Radio 4 presenter John Humphreys has described as 'the linguistic equivalent of having chips with rice.'

Also making the top 10 is the grammatically incorrect 'shouldn't of', instead of 'shouldn't have'."

Thanks to Art Scott for the link.


Sling Words aka Joan Reeves said...

Most of those aren't nearly as irritating as others i.e. my bad or any sentence with herself/himself because no one in today's world knows how to use the words correctly.

Karin M said...

In On Writing Well, Wm. Zinsser says, "Also, don't invent contractions like 'could've.' They cheapen your style."

It's a great book, but I have to disagree on this point. Everyone says would've, could've, should've. The crime is writing of instead of 've.

I agree that my bad is very annoying, as is say again (where did that come from?) I don't like the all-purpose whatever, either.

Benjie said...

I'm with Karin M on this one. Perhaps a "word police" post on the use of "of" is in order.

Our local news aired an American list that only varied from the British at about two entries.